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Natchez man chooses to laugh through life

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Dart is a weekly feature in which a reporter and photographer throw a dart at a map and find a story where it lands. This week the Dart landed on State Street in Natchez.

NATCHEZ — In a world of ups and downs, Calvin Kimbro chooses to just laugh.

Kimbro, a lifelong Natchezian, said laughing and making others laugh is his way of making his hometown a better place.

When The Dart landed on State Street this week, Kimbro was relaxing, happily.

“I just think it is healthier to smile and laugh,” he said. “That’s what I do; I make people laugh.”

Kimbro said he doesn’t have any specific comedy acts, jokes or stories that he uses to elicit smiles and giggles. Instead, he just does whatever seems appropriate to bring out the laughs.

Sometimes that means telling a story or a joke, but sometimes it means pulling out the guitar and singing a little song.

“I’ve been playing guitar since I was a little kid,” he said. “I wouldn’t call myself a musician, but I like to tinker around on it and write a few songs.”

Most of the songs he writes follow his life mantra of “keep on laughing”

His favorite funny tune — “Frog Kisses” — he wrote in the mid 1980s and tells the story of a prince and princess separated when the prince is turned into a frog.

The princess has to go to the pond and kiss frogs until she finds her prince.

The first frog the princess happens upon is a bull frog. Hoping she’s found her prince she puckers up, but the bull frog surprises her “with his long, fly-catching tongue.”

Discouraged, but not ready to give up the princess keeps looking and finds a tree frog who kisses back with his “long, fly-catching tongue.”

Still determined to find her prince and turn him back into a prince, she continues on until she finds a 6-foot tall frog. The princess is sure this must be her frog prince, but when she puckers up, all she gets in return is a lick from his “long, fly-catching tongue.”

Disgusted the princess runs from the pond without her prince.

“There still a frog waiting for a kiss down at the pond,” Kimbro said. “In big crowds, that always gets a lot of laughs.

“Its just a fun, cute little song.”

Kimbro said his upbeat attitude has been what gets him through times of sadness or disappointment, so he likes to help others who may be a little downtrodden.

“If someone needs a good laugh or needs something to smile about, I like to be the one who makes them laugh,” he said. “I’m not a comedian. I just think smiling and laughing is better than frowning.”